tattoos

‘It can’t be bad, you’re young. You look fine.’ I questioned whether my symptoms were in my head.’: Single mom diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, ‘I don’t know what tomorrow has in store, but I’m ready to fight’

“I went from busy full days of work to barely handling the commute. I struggled to keep up with other moms my age. Misconceptions such as, ‘Young people can’t get it,’ and ‘You look totally healthy,’ infuriated me. It’s not just a disease for the elderly. I wasn’t fighting only for myself, but also my son.”

‘Your tattoos will get in the way of a real job.’ I learned to collect his affirmation like a treasure hunt. ‘Am I taking the offer to make him notice me?’: Woman tries to repair relationship with dad, ‘We’re finally getting to know one another’

“I don’t really know my dad. I’ve heard more stories from others than I’ve heard from him. I’d go weeks without talking to him, months without seeing him, and we’ve always lived in the same town, only miles apart. When it all fell into place, I knew he would be my biggest fan.”

‘So she’ll always be sick?’ I leave the office with an answer but no cure. ‘I’m not dying. I’m just 16 and past my prime.’: Chronic illness warrior battles lupus and fibromyalgia

“’Maybe if I drank bleach,’ I think. I feel so dirty, tired and stiff. ‘Maybe if I turned inside-out and scrubbed my veins out with soap.’ Surely the disease would be eradicated. I’m supposed to find out today. I tap my foot. ‘Remember to breathe, you have to breathe, just breathe.’ Dr. Box settles into his rolling chair. ‘So she’ll always be sick?’ ‘Yes, but we caught it early.’ Yesterday, I dropped my hairbrush. I couldn’t finish. My hair is still knotted in the back. Last week, I passed out briefly, stepping out of the shower. And this was an improvement.”

‘What will you tell your kids? They look trashy.’ I’ll tell them what my tattoos mean to me.’: After lupus diagnosis, sexual assault survivor uses to tattoos to ‘help me reclaim myself’

“Unsolicited, I have been ‘advised’ on my body art. I’ve been asked, in horror, ‘What will you tell your kids?’ I’ll tell them what my tattoos mean to me, and when they’re older, they can get tattoos if they want them. ‘You’re inviting people to judge you.’ Actually no, I’m not. ‘Can you get a job with those?’ Firstly, none of your business. Secondly, yes. Then there are the people who find my tattoos TOO appealing. ‘Where ELSE are you inked?’ ‘So, you like pain, huh?’ ‘Wanna see MY tattoo?’ Seriously, be less sleazy.”

‘Oh my god, did you see Elena’s ears?! I mean, it’s basically child abuse.’ I left the party uncomfortable.’: Woman defends cultural parenting differences, ‘a mother knows what is best for her child’

“When Elena was 5 months old, my friend Nia brought her to a baby shower. My eyes fell on her cute little ears, pierced with diamond studs! As soon as the door closed behind her, all the girls dived right in. ‘Who does that to a little baby?’ ‘What’s next, a tattoo or something?’ ‘Shouldn’t that be Elena’s decision when she’s older?’ Honestly, I didn’t know what to think. Nia was the only person of color at the party.”

‘I had this overwhelming feeling I was invited out of pity. I blurt out I’m a widow. ‘I’m so sorry,’ she says, horrified.’: Young widow unapologetic for making people uncomfortable, says ‘that is their problem’

“After my husband’s death, I ventured to a kid’s birthday party with my son. I was nervous. As I started mingling with the moms, things got weird. I not-so-casually slid into the conversation that I’m a widow. I was still wearing my rings, so they assumed I was married. This poor woman looked dumbfounded. I kept thinking, ‘Should I have done this differently?’ I cannot pretend my husband didn’t die just to placate people around me.”

‘Such a shame. You have such nice boys you’re exposing to filth.’ She kept glaring. ‘Tisk tisk. I should call CPS and report you.’: Elderly woman scolds mom for tattoo honoring late grandmother

“While grocery shopping, an elderly lady was talking to my boys. She was very kind, saying I had such a beautiful family. Everything was great and we were all smiles… until she noticed my tattoos. ‘Is that your grandma’s signature? What a disgrace.’ My mouth fell open. I grabbed my kids, and saw her writing my license plate number down.”

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